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Kiran Bahl

Happy New Year! We�re relieved that the stress of the holidays is over, and we�re even more excited to start a fresh, New Year, that too, with sincere resolutions. A must-have New Year�s resolution on your list should be to always remain in tip-top fashion form, no matter the situation. Through good times and bad, an attractive appearance always boosts confidence, and we�re here to help you through it all!

We Floridians are extremely lucky this winter season. Temperatures have remained stable and warm, which gives us a huge spectrum of variety of clothing to wear. Ladies, this season is all about dressing up! Lenghas are on the top of every party list. Crepe and georgette versions are cropping up, with the latest trend decorating the top of the skirt with a decorative waistband, perfectly coordinating with the top. Strappy tops are still the rage. Pearl beading is back. This English-Victorian look has been taken from American fashion runways, and fused with Indian looks to create an ultra-modern style. Lattice, pearl beading on a strappy top, in two-tone shades, matched with an A-line lengha creates the perfect silhouette for any occasion. Even saris have followed the trend. Pearl and silver sequined ornaments atop an ice-pink or baby blue sari is too elegant for words. Pastels are the �in� colors, with traditional reds and oranges close behind. Leave those navy blues and blacks for later this year.

Pantsuits have changed a bit as well. Long-sleeved styles are seeping in, but with a twist � the sleeves are the most decorated parts of the outfit. Sleeve cuffs and seams are bursting with d�cor, including sequin work, embroidery and zari. The eye is instantly drawn upwards, which helps if you�re heavier on the bottom. And we ladies know that long sleeves are always flattering!

Jewelry is too much fun this season. Jewels are super-large and super colorful. Two and even three-tone sets are in demand, made even fancier with hanging beads. Bangles are being made to custom match. Even bindis are being double shaded for a perfect fit to your jewels and outfit You should still focus on loose hairstyles, opting for as little hair ornaments as necessary. The more natural the look, the more natural you�ll appear, as if pulling your outfit together was a breeze. Again, confidence is key; it�s the icing on any style!

Men, your look is toned down a bit this season. Simple kurta pajamas, in cotton or silk, are most requested. Keep in line with the ladies, however, and opt for pastels or neutral colors. A baby blue cotton kurta pajama or beige silk kurta pajama can be the foundation for any look you want to achieve. Add a dupatta to fancy things up. For the bold, a fitted kurti top with a dhoti is the No. 1 runway trend. Try a black ready-made dhoti (it helps lots when they�re readymade!) with a beige kurti � great look for any function!

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend! E-mail us at [email protected] and we�ll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas. Here�s this month�s Fashion Drama question of the month:

Q: Why doesn�t anyone wear tikkas anymore? Even at weddings, I�m noticing how nobody seems to wear them. Are they considered out of style now? -- Henna, Tampa.

A: Hi Henna. The answer is simple � Laziness is probably the No. 1 reason ladies refuse to wear tikkas anymore. As beautiful as these pieces are, wearing and maintaining them throughout an event can be a hassle. Runways, even, are not showing them off, simply because the bindi has become bigger and better. To answer your question, however, tikkas never go out of style; they are classic pieces of jewelry that will last infinitely. A good tip, though to keep that tikka from swinging side-to-side on your forehead: Apply some clear nail polish to the back of the tikka, and affix to forehead. It�ll stay put.

Happy New Year again to one and all. Keep your fashion resolutions up-to-date always. We wish you a fabulous 2007 filled with the zest for life, the love of family, and the laughter of friends. And as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, �An Indian Boutique,� 2035 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612, can be reached at (813) 843-9040 or (813) 903-8334.

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